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Publication Type J
Authors Gilbert, A. A. and L. H. Fraser
Title Effects of salinity and clipping on biomass and competition between a halophyte and a glycophyte
Source Plant Ecology
Author Keywords Poa pratensis Puccinellia nuttalliana Climate change Competitive importance Cattle grazing plant-species density puccinellia-nuttalliana weeping alkaligrass kentucky bluegrass british-columbia strategy theory gradient growth accumulation germination
Abstract Global climate change will likely result in the reduction of water levels in intermountain wetlands and ponds, and the vegetation communities associated with these wetlands are an important forage source for livestock. Lowered water levels will not only constrict wetland plant communities, it will potentially change aquatic and soil salt concentrations. Such an increase in salinity can reduce plant growth and potentially affect competitive interactions between plants. A greenhouse experiment examined the effects of salinity and competition on the growth of two wet meadow grass species, Poa pratensis (a glycophyte) and Puccinellia nuttalliana (a halophyte). The following hypotheses based on published data were tested: (1) Biomass of both species will decrease with increasing concentration of salt; (2) root:shoot (R:S) ratio of P. pratensis will decrease with increasing salt concentration while R:S ratio of P. pratensis and P. nuttalliana will increase with clipping; (3) competitive importance will decrease for P. pratensis and P. nuttalliana with increasing salt concentration because salt induces a stress response and competitive importance is reduced in stressed environments. A factorial design included 3 plant treatments (P. nuttalliana alone, P. pratentsis alone, P. nuttalliana + P. pratensis) x 4 salinity rates (control; 5, 10, 15 g/L NaCl) x 2 clipping intensities (plants clipped or not clipped) for a total of 24 combinations replicated 6 times over a period of 90 days. We found a reduction in dry biomass as salinity increased, and this effect was greatest for P. pratensis. (1.94 g (SE 0.13) at 0 g/L NaCl to 0.22 g (SE 0.11) at 15 g/L NaCl). The R:S ratio of P. pratensis was reduced by salinity, but not for P. nuttalliana. Competitive importance of both species was reduced by clipping and by salinity, but the effect was greater and more consistent for P. pratensis. We conclude that salt concentration reduces plant growth and the effect of competition.
Author Address [Gilbert, Ashleigh A.; Fraser, Lauchlan H.] Thompson Rivers Univ, Dept Biol & Nat Resource Sci, Kamloops, BC, Canada. Fraser, LH (reprint author), Thompson Rivers Univ, Dept Biol & Nat Resource Sci, Kamloops, BC, Canada. lfraser@tru.ca
ISSN 1385-0237
ISBN 1385-0237
29-Character Source Abbreviation Plant Ecol.
Publication Date Mar
Year Published 2013
Volume 214
Issue 3
Beginning Page 433-442
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1007/s11258-013-0180-3
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000315491300008
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